Massdrop x Focal Elex Headphonessearch
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Massdrop x Focal Elex Headphones

Massdrop x Focal Elex Headphones

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(79 reviews)
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Verified Purchaser
I've had these for a while now and I really enjoy them. The mids and the treble are great and if you increase the bass it handles it well. I have no regrets buying this. Currently paired with a Topping DX7s
Verified Purchaser
I am quite impressed with Elex. The comfort and the details on mid & treble are exceptional. Elex is pairing well with Schiit Jotunheim and Chord Mojo. Thank you Massdrop & Focal for making this product available.
Verified Purchaser
I sold my hd650 for Elex and I'm quite happy with the Elex. There is some similarities between the two headphones but the Elex is faster and more dynamic. This is the most expansive headphone I own now, I paired it with a TEAC ud503 balanced dac amp.
Verified Purchaser
Along ~w these x Focal Elex, I've LCD 2's, HD 800's, Sony ZR1, Klipsch HP3 and I use all these ~w portable Dac/Amps ( Sony PH3, Teac HA-P5, Chord Mojo and iFi- xDSD ………. A lot of combos to contend ~w Probably the Teac / iFi combos at this point .. jury still out however Slightly warm, more expansive then anticipated - they GROW on you :-)
Verified Purchaser
Fantastic Sound Great for Music Great for Movies Great to Ware on me Head Cheers FOCAL. The Poor Mans Slice of Heaven.
Verified Purchaser
I've been using the Audeze LCD 2 Classics before the Elex's arrived. My immediate impression of the Elex when compared to the 2C's is that when you put the Elex's on, you are immediately in a larger room where music is playing compared to the 2C's. Highs and Lows are tastefully more pronounced. Image is also a tad better. No buyer's remorse here.
Verified Purchaser
Just buy em. They’re great. Like HD650s with more sub bass and more air and less veil. Vocals aren’t as intimate, but then nothing quite does vocals like the HD6X0 line does. They’re also quite comfortable thanks to big ol pads and low clamp. The closest you’ll get to a direct upgrade from an HD650 (maybe except Focal Utopia but I’m not paying 4K to find out).
Ares78
i would if they shipped to cocking europe
Ares78
The closest you'll get to a direct upgrade from an HD650 is the ZMF Auteur (IMO).
Verified Purchaser
Exactly as described. The Elex fixes everything “wrong” with the Elear and still manages to slash the price. As a longtime HD650 owner, I can easily say the Elex is a very logical upgrade worth every penny.
Verified Purchaser
I am very happy with these headphones. The break-in period was brutal, as has been the case with a lot of cans I have had. Don't judge these critically until they have 150 hours on them. The sound gets much better over time. (At one point during break-in, I thought they were broken.) Now they are great. Transparent, dynamic, good detail retrieval, punchy bass, no sibilance, and fairly neutral. I pair them with an iBasso or a Chord Mojo. Some background - I was looking for a step up from the HD6XX headphones (which I have and love) and was looking for essentially open-back versions of my Sennheiser IE800 in-ears. Those were designed by the HD800 designers and sound fantastic, but trend a little bit warm. (I have seen speculation that the HD800S may have been updated to tame the 6K peak as well as to close in on the IE800s. ) Anyway, I was looking for a sub-1K way to get as close to the HD800S as possible. I think I have mission accomplished here. My home system centers on KEF LS50 Wireless speakers and these headphones blow them away (but cannot duplicate the soundstaging or bass of those speakers). Running Tidal Masters or HiFi through the Mojo to these has me fully happy. All genres of music sound good on them. I strongly recommend the Elex. I am hard pressed to think of another value like this (except the aforementioned IE800 1st gen if you can find them cheaply).
Verified Purchaser
The sound is excellent, I find them to be very very comfortable for 2 or 3 hours at a time, and they hardly block ambient sound at all ( which is what I was looking for).
Verified Purchaser
An Excellent way to get into the Elite Club of Focal Owners @ $300 cheaper ! Added Bonus : They come in Black ! Seriously though these are an amazing set of cans that must be paired with an amazing amp . I have mine paired with my Chord Mojo and love them . Couldn’t recommend them enough . Thank you Massdrop & Focal for this !
Verified Purchaser
Initial impressions:
The clear mids and bass depth (on an open headphone) stand out to me. Quite fast transients. Bass and highs maybe a bit brittle and sound a bit tone-flat, sensitive to bad recordings- reminds me a lot of SA5000 in that sense, fantastic for techno but some complexity missing from piano. Not the best micro-detail monster but still good micro-detail. Okay soundstage, not too big, not claustrophobic, maybe a bit on the flat side.
Good build quality except hear some creak in plastic cups. Love the thick cable. Why don't all headphones come with nice cables like this.
Kind of heavy. Clamp pretty strong on my head first day. My wool headband add-on made it much more comfortable at top.
For $700 full-size headphones they're very good, enough I want to give it 5 stars with just ~10 hours of listening. Still think balanced armature IEM's provide the most detail, full tonality, and overall performance, but putting things in ear not for everyone.
Using high-end Audio-GD gear.
Verified Purchaser
THE headphones for me. I enjoy these for hours on end through the Cavalli Liquid Carbon X amp with the integrated Grace S-DAC to TIDAL streaming service. Ships with 1/4" and 4 pin balanced cables. I appreciate the better performance available from a cable upgrade. Cardas Clear sound nice. I have some custom cables made with Mogami wire that sound great. I also listen through an Atma-Sphere preamp fed by either my turntable or heavily modded OPPO DAC. These things just sound SO right without any hint of being limited or fatigueing. Pure music.
There once was a note Pure and easy Playin' so free, like a breath rippling by
The note is eternal I hear it it sees me Forever we blend And forever we die
I listened and I heard Music in a word
--The Who
Verified Purchaser
Canned Gravitas… I was hoping for an EH set of cans, endless hours, I think I got them. I have the HD700’s because I wanted no detail left out, yes I have read every review and still wanted everything revealed... well I was hearing it all (almost;),, but not with the depth, clarity and liquid ease that the Elex brings. Blade Runner, Rachel’s Song, Vangelis, DSD 2.8, the whispering airy notes (spacey vacuum noise;) gains detail within itself. Instruments do not fight each other, they maintain their individuality more firmly. Nora Jones, Come Away With Me, DSD 2.8 studio file, a good sibilance gauntlet test, that I feel my older setup with HD700’s passed, it got better,, as though not a recording,, you are present,, and that is the goal. You can push the Elex‘s and they just get better, they blossom, it all holds together and no element gets pushed into the other, room for all. The bass is clean, defined, not a fuzzy hump, but a thump. With the optional Cary PB300, an extra 7200µF plugged in, the driver extension the Elex has, shows it's full capability. Kjling commented here on pairing the Elex with an Audio-gd HE-9; a perfect doppelganger in SS, I would espouse. In fact, something new; left them blasting on the couch, walking away... they don’t sound like cans left running... they sound like speakers... calling you back. The Elex build, look and finish show excellent craftsmanship. Comfort is balanced, the weight is there, but it feels as though they were made for your personal immersion. The Sirens sing now,, I can hear them, current rig; re-constituted extra virgin electrons siphoned from the Sacred fire of Vesta, i.e. a double-conversion UPS > pachyderm power cables > DSD-Audivarna-PC > USB/ Corning Optical-Gemini/LPS > Denafrips Ares > Oyaide AZ-910 > Cary CAD-300SEI w/PB300 > Silver Dragon > Focal/MD Elex's. Every link in the chain... plays...
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Verified Purchaser
I´m really disappointed with this headphones, the quality control seems to be terrible: I’ve purchase a pair in the first drop and when they arrived everything was going good, but I’ve felt really wear with the center imaging so I’ve started to test it head to head with the HD6xx and I’ve found that the lower midrange was unbalance, really obvious with male vocals, this part of the range was a little higher on the left side, so I’ve ask to Massdrop for a replacement and they made it with no problems. When the second pair arrive and I’ve started the burn in process, and what a surprise it has a really terrible clicking noise while play Pink Noise, that is, what I use to Burn in all my headphones, so In first place I thought it was a problem only with the Pink Noise and maybe while they burn in, so I´v started to play some music, and after test a lot of songs I’v found that the clicking still there, for some dirty bass songs, I was shock two defective pairs of two, and taking care that this is a 700 dollars headphones, it´s just nonsense. So I’ve ask to Massdrop for a refund because I was not going to accept a third pair and they made it with no excuse, so a good point for the Massdrop Customer Support, but what the heck whit Focal and their quality control.
On the Sound Signature, I don’t think this it´s a natural upgrade to the HD6xx, in fact it´s the opposite signature to my ears: the very natural and forward midrange of the 6xx it´s almost gone, in a smooth way, all the precise colorful, and snappy midrange of the 6xx, in the Elex it´s really sweet and kind of colorless if that make sense to you, listening to the first 40 seconds on head to head with the HD6xx and Elex of: Read, Eat, Sleep from The Books: Tidal: https://tidal.com/track/19265068 Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/5rewzVP4CGXwM7sfRQyk6I?si=kPlq0cc4TwqtuPApyZKJkg this song has a really nice recorded acoustic guitar solo, and with the HD6xx you will hear all the little tones and the fast guitar strumming of it, but with the Elex it´s almost no tone difference, and the guitar strumming are so smooth, that they are almost gone. For the audiophile community the Sennheiser HD6-- family it´s all about midrange natural sound, so an upgrade to it would be even better midrange, but be aware this it’s not the case.
On the other hand, if you think that the lack of top ends on the HD6xx it´s what bothers you, this can be a “better” headphones, the bass and highs on the Elex are really forward in comparison, whit really fast and clean extensions on both sides, the Dynamics on this parts of the range it´s really amazing, so if you are going to watch a movie or play games it can literally hurt: explosions, shots, or any kind of punch, it´s going to make you jump out of your chair, it´s a complete different and intense experience if you come from the HD6xx, the sub bass it’s on another league, and I think it´s the best part of this headphones. The highs are far more present on the Elex, than on the HD6xx, whit fast and great detail, and also a nice and larger soundstage, but this gives to the headphones, some kind of metal feel to the highs. I think on the sound, these it´s really nice pair of headphones, but the terrible quality control, makes it to me very hard to recommend it to anybody. Sorry Focal!!
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@Marlowe & @rastus  thanks all of you peope for your point, this comunity is amazing :) I also was thinking about the impedance limitations for the Aeon and how it will react to an OTL Amp, and now I think tha probably the best option is a Hybrid amp, and I also add the Massdrop CTH to the list, because of this small comparation betwen the Lyr3 and the CTH. https://www.verumsonus.com/dc-area-head-fi-meet-impressions-4-7-2018/ . do you have any opinion on this amp ? For an OTL I also found that La Figaro 339 can be a nice pairing, but is still a bit pricy, I´ll have to ear some extra money. or what would you do with this 13ohms planar heaphones, what amp would you buy?
david_abadia
Sorry to leave this for so long,, but was asking CEE-TEE for an answer to the question; can the CTH handle the increased filament current draw of an E80CC tube? No answer yet. I am basing this on my experience with the Aune T1's, not hearing a CTH, in that is; you put a "great" tube in a CTH, like an E80CC, it should be a fine(r) amp. 6922=quartet < E80CC=orchestra (ask for test #'s, anyone;) https://www.ebay.com/itm/Valvo-E80CC-Preamplifier-Tube-Red-Label-O-Getter-Code-VB4-Goldpins-NIB-NOS/123480314748?epid=166884533&hash=item1cc000137c:g:X5kAAOSwXbFb5gkU:rk:21:pf:0
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Or... to play it safe(r) just a bit more current,, an E288CC (only one I have never tried,, should be excellent) https://www.ebay.com/itm/E288CC-A-Frame-Disc-Getter-Teonex-SIEMENS-Halske-Double-Triode-Audio-TUBES-8223/351685744961?hash=item51e21a9941:g:E0YAAOSw9uFW9Amb:rk:2:pf:0
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Or... a nice 6922 (tube shopping vicariously with other peoples money is fun;) https://www.ebay.com/itm/NOS-NIB-Amperex-USN-CEP-6922-E88CC-1963-USA-Gold-Pin-US-Navy-Mil-Spec-Tube/113360580686?epid=166830015&hash=item1a64d1304e:g:bugAAOSwFytaMCA2:rk:48:pf:0
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Verified Purchaser
These cans are wonderful-have had the 6XXs w pad upgrade to improve bass and the HiFi 4xxs for going on a year. The Elex are a step up from both-love them- wonderful sound field with a remarkable bass-I just roll a Baldwin 6SN7 in the darkvoice and listen 'to the music' all day-Strong work-Thanks
BFCC
What pads improve bass? im new to all this.
Every1LovesEddy
I've tried the Dekoni velour pads-makes for a slightly larger chamber w a little stronger bass-I had gravitated to the HiFi 4xxs for bass but think the 6xxs have better aural field-short money, give it a try bfcc
Verified Purchaser
I bought these as soon as they dropped on MD. I really wanted to like them, because I love the Utopias and the Clears. They look and feel amazing.
I ended up selling them because while the dynamics sound incredible, the freq response has almost the same problems as the Elear. The mids just sound strange and unnatural like things are out of phase. They extend really well in both directions, but the bass is almost too punchy- and I consider myself a bass head.
If you’re interested in these, try the Elear first. They are close enough that you’ll be able to tell if you’ll enjoy the Elex or not.
Verified Purchaser
Excellent! Must have headphones for you! That's it.
Quick review: Build: Excellent. Solid construction and the matte black surface is beautiful. Sound: Excellent. Very detailed and silky smooth treble, rich mid and, tight and deep bass (not boomy, of course), Sound stage: Excellent. I can feel the space of concert hall and the position of vocals and instruments. Comfort: Excellent.The earpads are thick and comfortable as if I were relaxing on a well-built leather sofa.
I stopped buying headphones after getting this superb headphones, Elex. Thanks Massdrop and Focal!
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My rigs: Home: iMac + JRiver MC24 + iFi audio micro iDAC2 + LCX + Elex / HD6XX(DMaa mod) Mobile: XDP-100R + Noble Audio K10U Headphones: -SHURE SRH940 -Massdrop HD6xx (+DMaa mod) -Massdrop Focal Elex IEMs: -SHURE SE215 -AK T8iE mkII -Massdrop Noble Audio K10U
Verified Purchaser
Love it. Amazing sound.
Verified Purchaser
the Elex is detailed enough that you don't miss anything in the music your listing to and smooth enough not to bore or fatigue you with those details. Comfortable and stylish these sit right next to my recliner as my go to headphones when I need to just enjoy music.
Verified Purchaser
I have listened to most of the available widely-known high-end headphones, Audeze, Sennheiser, Grado, Oppo, BW, BO, Sony, AudioQuest, the other Focals, and many more.
For $700, this is one of, if not the overall best headphone deal I've ever seen. Right up there with a $200 X2; or the $169 HE4XX.
Except, this does everything better. The build quality is spectacular. The comfort is very, very good. The sound quality is phenomenal. I thought the Utopia and Clear were the best headphones I've ever heard - and this is almost up there with them. It's lacking a slight bit of detail - but it doesn't fatigue me like the Utopia did. Basically, this is a cleaned up Elear, or a slightly-bass boosted clear. It is amazing.
If I had to choose one open-back headphone for the rest of my life, I'd have a very, very, very hard time not choosing the Elex, and only because the X2 is by a small margin, lighter and more comfortable - but technically deficient next to the Elex.
aether_tech
When you say "X2" do you mean "Philips Fidelio X2 headphones"?
cwelton17
yes
Verified Purchaser
These are the best headphones I have ever tried. They are rich, deep, crisp, detailed, have enormous soundstage and super precise imaging.... They are like a more flourishing Spirit Pro, allowing you to appreciate all the fruits, nuts, and nectar of the sound like an aroma of nature. The build quality is terrific, and although I would have appreciated a 3.5 mm option, an adapter can easily be acquired, and these headphones should be appreciated with an amp anyways. They are like the sunrise in a forest, whereas everything else in comparison is like something chalky and dark in the pale moonlight, lacking life and brilliance. Perhaps the Spirit Pros are better for monitoring, but I still recommend having the Elex to accompany the Spirit Pro for editing and reviewing to ensure the absolute precision and accuracy of sound signature, as well as the correct tonal balance. The earpads are very comfortable and are possibly the best possible, and my go-to favorite earpads to swap into headphones, the Brainwavz HM5 Velour, would just feel out of place with this glorious, and expensive, piece of art and technology. These headphones are the definition of luxury sound.